(Update) Elderly Filipino couple battered to death in US

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2009 10:45 AM | Updated as of Jul 16 2009 03:09 AM

An elderly Filipino couple was found dead inside their home in Rockford, Illinois, Wednesday night.

The Winnebago county coroner's office said 77-year-old Reynato Cardino and his 74-year-old wife Leticia died of blunt force trauma, indicating that they were battered to death.

The couple was found dead inside their Pleasant View Avenue home in Rockford a few days after returning from their vacation in Zamboanga, Philippines.

Police reports stated that a neighbor who was coming home from work called 911 after finding the couple’s 51-year-old son Reyle Cardino bloodied at the front yard.

Reyle told police that he was checking on his parents when the still unknown suspect reportedly beat him up. He was taken to a nearby hospital.

Police are still looking for a suspect described as an African American male in his mid twenty’s, in good shape and about 6 feet tall. So far there has been no arrest made related to the double homicide case.

Easy targets

Rockford police advised residents especially the seniors to remain vigilant and keep their doors locked at all times.

Police said seniors are easy targets for break-ins because they are weaker, less likely to resist and more likely to leave valuable items unsecured.

Authorities will conduct a round the clock watch to ensure the safety of residents as investigators continue to search for clues.

Family friend Anita Thorsbakken talked about her fondness for her Filipino neighbors.

"If you needed anything, they were there for you, you know, we'd watch their house when they went out of town and stuff, they'd watch our house, all the neighbors were pretty well connected, we're all family orientated, so we were all pretty shaken up over this, we can't believe that somebody would do something like this especially to two elderly people," Thorsbakken said.

A wake up call

While the attacker’s motive is still not clear, Filipinos in Rockford said the incident is a wake up call.

"It takes something like this unfortunately for us to be more careful. You want to make sure you don't want to go out late at night by yourself things like that and make sure that you check all the windows, and doors and everything because you never know what can happen," said Dr. Gigi Montero.

“After this parang nobody's safe. I can say that what they should do is basically just ask their children to check on them more than often,” said Chand Tubio.

The Cardinos are known in Rockford for spearheading the biggest yearly Fourth of July gatherings.

Community leader Jovey Reyes said their Filipino organization plans to help ensure the safety of their elderly members.

"This is the first time it happened, so we're probably going to consider that one in the community and going to talk about things what we can do and help our elders,” said Reyes.

The Cardinos came to the US in the early 70's. They were planning go back to the Philippines and retire there in the next few months

A wake is scheduled at the Delehanty Funeral Home in Loves Park, Illinois. The funeral service is scheduled at the United Methodist Church.

The Cardinos will be laid to rest at the Scandinavian Cemetery in Rockford, Illinois. Reports from Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau and Balitang America